World leaders react to Uvalde school shooting : NPR

A man brings flowers to Robb Elementary School on Wednesday in Uvalde, Texas.

Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

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Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

A man brings flowers to Robb Elementary School on Wednesday in Uvalde, Texas.

Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

Officials around the world are responding to the shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas, the deadliest such incident in the United States in nearly a decade.

In moving remarks Tuesday night, President Biden called it a uniquely American tragedy.

“They have mental health issues, they have domestic disputes in other countries,” he said. “They have people who are lost. But those kinds of mass shootings never happen with the frequency that they happen in America. Why?”

He then called on lawmakers to stand up to the gun lobby.

That same night, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned the shooting, as a politician and mother, during an appearance on the Late show with Stephen Colbert. After two consecutive mosque shootings in 2019, New Zealand collected thousands of guns through a nationwide buyout, and lawmakers voted to ban nearly all semi-automatic weapons.

Asked by Colbert how the country was able to take this step, Ardern described New Zealanders as “very pragmatic people”.

“When we saw something like this happen, everyone said never again, and so it was incumbent on us as politicians to respond to that,” she said. “Now we have legitimate needs for firearms in our country, for things like pest control and to protect our biodiversity – but you don’t need a military-style semi-automatic to do that. “

And New Zealand isn’t the only country drawing attention to the US stance on gun control. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin expressed condolences to the families of the victims, but also called the US government hypocritical for failing to act on gun violence at home while attacking foreign countries for their human rights record.

Condolences also poured in from Ukrainian politicians, including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who drew parallels between the loss of young, innocent lives in Texas and his own war-torn country.

“The people of Ukraine share the pain of the relatives and friends of the victims and of all Americans,” he tweeted.

Pope Francis, while offering prayers, also issued a message on gun politics.

Officials from various countries – including Canada, France, Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom – as well as religious leaders around the world shared messages of shock and sympathy. Read some of their statements below.

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